Count 'em: 11 â€œwhereasesâ€!
VCOG Executive Director Frosty Landon and Associate Director Megan Rhyne show off copies of the resolutions passed by the House and Senate during the 2006 General Assembly session. FOI Advisory Council Executive Director Maria Everett (left) looks on.
The resolution was sponsored in the House by Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, and in the Senate by Sen. Edd Houck, D-Spotsylvania.
Full text of the House resolution is reprinted below.
GA resolutions recognize VCOG
The Virginia Coalition for Open Government got a pat on the back for its efforts to assure access to public meetings and records. The state’s Freedom of Information Advisory Council presented VCOG a General Assembly resolution commending us on our 10th anniversary for promoting openness in state and local government.
The resolution was sponsored in the House by (right) Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, and in the Senate by (left) Sen. Edd Houck, D-Spotsylvania. Frosty Landon, VCOG executive director, stands center.
The Commonwealth Iconoclast blog commented, "I know this is not the Nobel Peace Prize. But this resolution is nonetheless significant and should be applauded by all citizens who care about public policy, how tax dollars are spent and the effectiveness of their public officials in the performance of their duties."
The resolution can be found online at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?061+sum+HJ206 .
WHEREAS, established in 1996, the Virginia Coalition for Open Government (VCOG) celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2006; and
WHEREAS, VCOG is a nonpartisan alliance of journalists, librarians, public-interest organizations, and citizen activists who are committed to achieving greater transparency in local and state government for the citizens of Virginia; and
WHEREAS, VCOG works collaboratively with legislators and other public officials, educators, first amendment lawyers, and interested citizens to strengthen and expand statutory protection for public access to meetings and records; and
WHEREAS, from 1998 to 2000, VCOG was a tireless advocate for the successful creation of the Freedom of Information Advisory Council (the FOIA Council), now widely regarded as a model for states seeking compliance with open-government laws; and
WHEREAS, VCOG was invaluable in increasing the FOIA Council’s visibility, cosponsoring educational programs, designing and distributing promotional materials, and offering Internet access to FOIA Council opinions and training guides; and
WHEREAS, VCOG participates annually in the FOIA Council’s advisory work groups and assists the General Assembly in the formulation of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reforms; and
WHEREAS, VCOG publishes a semiannual newsletter and offers an outstanding website that provides a wealth of information and services, including a widely-respected Internet listserve, an online citizen’s FOIA pocket guide, and an impressive archive of more than 300 opinions regarding open-government and related issues by the FOIA Council, the Office of the Attorney General, and the state and federal courts; and
WHEREAS, VCOG also maintains an e-mail and telephone hotline that explain FOIA issues, monitors FOIA compliance throughout the state, and encourages the use of the FOIA Council office as an alternative to litigation; and
WHEREAS, VCOG sponsors a yearly legal fellowship to review access, privacy, and security issues in depth; annual conferences on Right To Know issues; and annual awards that recognize major contributions to open access by citizens, the media, and government throughout Virginia; and
WHEREAS, in honor of VCOG’s outstanding service, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has created a challenge grant to create a permanent VCOG endowment fund, culminating in a 10th anniversary celebration at the Library of Virginia on November 16, 2006; and
WHEREAS, VCOG has helped form successful Freedom of Information advocacy entities in North Carolina, Tennessee, and numerous other states and is widely recognized as a respected and exemplary source of information on government in the sunshine; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly commend and congratulate the Virginia Coalition for Open Government on the occasion of its 10th anniversary; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the Virginia Coalition for Open Government as an expression of the General Assembly’s gratitude for its outstanding commitment to the tenets of open government for all of the citizens of the Commonwealth.
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